In the latest in a series of columns to appear in the Guernsey Press business pages, Alastair Hargreaves looks at the need, or not, for a will.

You do not need to make a will, but if you don’t, you would be what is termed ‘intestate’. 

That means the Guernsey Inheritance Law will stipulate how your estate is dealt with, and you may not necessarily want the same outcome as the law dictates.

Previously, Guernsey has been a forced heirship jurisdiction which meant your choices about where you left your estate were limited.

That position changed with the new Inheritance legislation in 2011, which allowed freedom of testamentary disposition. This means that you can now leave your estate how you please, rather than being required to leave certain shares to certain people.

Not making a will is not problematic, but it is a bit more restrictive.

In this modern day and age, family circumstances are often complex, and the flexibility now available in will drafting is advantageous for many people.

If you decide to make a will, you should probably review it every three to five years to ensure it matches your wishes.  As a rule of thumb, if you have a significant life event (which means different things for different people), for good or for bad, you should take the opportunity to look at your will again.

Author Alastair Hargreaves Advocate, Solicitor & Managing Partner